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View Full Version : Return to the Ring 25th June to 1st July 2008



Dave T
09-07-2008, 11:01 PM
June 2008, the return to the ring.

Wednesday 25th June
Misery


It may seem a strange way to start a report on one of the most amazing and outrageous road trips with such a depressing title, but let me explain:

Planning for this trip started as soon as we got the dates for the Tourist sessions way back in December. The build up consisted of the guys fixing and fettling their cars, which consisted mainly of Mk2 Golf GTI. Much money and many hours were expended to ensure all the cars were in tip-top shape, ready for a 1500 mile round trip to the Eifel and the ribbon of tarmac that twists its way through some of the most outstanding scenery to be found anywhere in Europe. The opportunity to drive on one of the most famous roads, the gathering of a group of like-minded people for a week of good weather, excellent food and fantastic company.

So, this misery thing. That’s what we left behind on Wednesday 25th June 2008 at 0645, the Rock of Misery, known to most as the Isle of Man.



The Meet

The pre-arranged meeting place was to be the Sea Terminal in Douglas. I picked Alfie up at dark o’clock (just before 0600) and we headed for the RV. Already waiting was Sean and Chris, soon followed by most of the others, more on that later.

The watch shot:

http://www.homepages.mcb.net/davet/ring_report_2008/start-time.jpg

The boat loaded on time and we set off for the lounge to discuss our plan for the day. The weather today was pretty poor with rain and a strong southeast wind. It soon became apparent that Matt wasn’t on the boat. Cell phones were prodded to see if anyone had his number, the cell phone prodding drew a blank so we couldn’t call him, it looked like we had lost one of the group before we had even left.

http://www.homepages.mcb.net/davet/ring_report_2008/1.jpg

The captain of the Steam Packet Vessel Superseacat 2, now called Snaefell or Viking or something, announced that the boat was broken and it would take longer to get to Liverpool. This was not a problem as we had budgeted for this in our planning, we didn’t need to be at Hull until 1600hrs.

So where was Matt? It was only when we approached Liverpool that we learned that Matt had booked the boat to Heysham and would meet up with us in Hull. All was good again.

The route for this year was to sail to Liverpool, drive to Hull, get an overnight sailing to Zeebrugge and drive to the ring on the Thursday morning feeling fresh and rested. Total driving time would be six hours. The route last year via Dover was rather long and short on rest, total driving time for that route was about eleven hours.

Upon arrival at Liverpool, we fuelled up the cars and issued radios so we could communicate whilst on the road. The next stop was to meet up with Simon in Ripondon, we agreed to RV at the motorway turn off before we dropped down to Rippondon. .
http://www.homepages.mcb.net/davet/ring_report_2008/mwayrv.jpg


We arrived at Simons factory where we applied stickers, made by Hammy, to the cars. These consisted of “Isle of Man GTI Tour 2008” featuring the IOM T course, The Ring and comedy names for the windows. From the factory we set off for lunch at Simons house where Simon unveiled his Renault Clio V6 race car, his tool of choice for this year

The drive to Hull was uneventful. We arrived and passed through check-in and customs without any problems or jokes about 9 bars. This year would be an overnight sailing so we had cabins and although very small, they served their purpose, just. Simon on the other hand had booked the club cabin with sea views, five beds and a mini bar. Must do that next year!

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The evening passed quickly with much beer being consumed. One of the younger members of the party was witnessed “sucking the face of a 64 year old” I suspect this incident was induced by alcohol consumption and while most of the guys retired to their cabins for sleep, some of the guys carried on drinking.

http://www.homepages.mcb.net/davet/ring_report_2008/gran.jpg

Dave T
09-07-2008, 11:02 PM
Thursday 26th June
First laps.

At 5am I was woken by my alarm that I had failed to reset from the previous morning, the alarm also woke Alfie, our interpreter for the trip, more on that one later.

After an hour snooze, we congregated on the aft deck to see the ship dock. The plan was to RV just off the boat and convoy to the Ring. We chatted about the previous evenings entertainment and it appears that “Sick Dave” had consumed a quantity of beer and had been praying to god on the big white telephone. He apparently spent the night on the cabin floor, face down and within reach of the toilet!

We disembarked, entered our destination into the various flavours of satellite navigation equipment and set off on a scenic tour of Brugges. However, we had to get to the Ring so we eventually found the correct road and started to make progress. Along the route we planned to stop off at a service station for breakfast and fuel.

http://www.homepages.mcb.net/davet/ring_report_2008/Pict3297.jpg

The exit from the motorway was interesting, note to self: don’t attempt an overtake with less than 200 metres before the turn off. We missed the front bumper of the huge truck travelling at 60mph by a good few inches. We stopped in the parking area and it became apparent that two other cars were missing, Herr Boydie (Mike Boyd) and Sean were missing. A call was made and general directions passed onto Sean who didn’t have satnav or a map. We were fairly confident he would either be fine or hopelessly lost.

We passed though Belgium, a little bit of Holland and entered Germany. Our convoy had split by this point with small groups of cars taking slightly different routes.

http://www.homepages.mcb.net/davet/ring_report_2008/belroad.jpg

My satnav was taking me through Adenau and up the 8km twisty to Hohe-Acht, I was familiar with this route but it turned out the road was closed for works so we had to detour. This is where my first satnav problem occurred. I normally use two maps, one for major roads of Europe and one for street level mapping of Germany switching to suit the country. I forgot to change maps when we entered Germany and now the satnav was confused. We did eventually arrive at the hotel, a few minutes after the others.

The rooms at the hotel were pre-booked and name list passed to Frank so he could arrange the keys ready for our arrival.

http://www.homepages.mcb.net/davet/ring_report_2008/hotel.jpg

The keys were issued, cars unpacked and we generally chilled for a few minutes before heading off for the circuit. I had brought my mountain bike with the intention of riding the MTB ring route, this was unpacked and left in Franks shed. It was now late afternoon and I had this uncontrollable urge to abuse my car and thrash it to within and inch of its life so we set off to the ring to see what has happening.

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The track was in use with some manufacturer testing, the noise of the cars on the Dottinger straight was tremendous. As the track wasn’t due to open until 1745, we decided to head over to Pflanzgarten and Brunnchen to watch for a few minutes. We watched for a short time before lining the cars up for a quick photo shoot and headed back to the office to buy tickets and await the track opening.

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The weather thoughout the day had been sunny and hot and I was looking forward to getting on the track. The first laps were commenced soon after the track opened, it was quiet on the track and after an initial sighting lap in the Golf I was ready to start learning all over again. However, half way around I had a problem, the car didn’t want to go around the corners. Braking was good, acceleration was ok but turning in would push the front out, it just wouldn’t grip.

Back at the car park I checked the tyre pressures, 38 front and 37 rear. I reduced the pressures to 33 front and 32 rear hot and went for another lap taking Herr Boydie, one of this years newbies for a lap, pointing out some the features of the track and what to look out for. Grip was better but it was still sliding. Back at the car park we jumped into Boydies Mk3 VR6 for a lap.

http://www.homepages.mcb.net/davet/ring_report_2008/mb1.jpg

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Driving by sight, Mike toured the circuit and although a capable driver, made a few errors and took some rather dodgy lines through some corners. This was to be expected as it was his first visit and first lap of the track. Back at the car park, I took my Golf for a final lap of the day. It was fun but the car was all over the place like a mad women on speed.

The Thursday evening session was finished at 1930 so we headed back to the hotel for dinner.

http://www.homepages.mcb.net/davet/ring_report_2008/hotel%20dinner.jpg


During dinner Hammy got some steak stuck in his throat and although not choking too seriously, it was obvious he was uncomfortable. He went off to try to get it out but returned a short time after with no success. We spoke with Frank and decided the best course of action was to go to hospital, Frank very Kindly came with us which was a good job as we would have had trouble with the reception guy. Because the Isle of Man is not part of the UK or EU and we don’t have the E111 card or any reciprocal agreement for healthcare in the EU, the reception guy insisted that we confirm that we had the means to pay, in cash, before they would commence treatment. Even though he had travel insurance, the hospital wanted payment in cash.

Hammy was taken into a room for the problem to be investigated. What followed was two or three hours of investigation with cameras and other implements to remove the blockage. I sat with Frank and Chris for a couple of hours chatting while the doctors "done things" to Hammy. Hammy was to be kept in the hospital overnight for observation.

We returned to the hotel for 0230hrs for some well needed sleep

Dave T
09-07-2008, 11:03 PM
Friday 27th June
3 Hour lap and got lost.

The tourist session was to start late today at about 1630 but first we had to collect Hammy from the hospital. Hobby, Chris and I set off after breakfast for the hospital at Adenau. Hammy was to be released in a little while so we took a stroll along the main street. One of the shops we passed, which was sort of a showroom, contained some very tasty motors, one in particular caused a great deal of drool:

http://www.homepages.mcb.net/davet/ring_report_2008/es.jpg

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As Hammy was still going to be a little while yet, Hobby suggested that I run them back the hotel so they could collect their car and I could do the other task for the week – cycle around the Nordschleife on the MTB route.

I loaded up the bike and set off for Brunnchen where I planned to start. The MTB route follows the outside of the circuit for much of the way, however, near the start it routes off through an industrial estate. I was enjoying myself so much, I failed to notice I had missed the MTB waymarks, resulting in carrying on 8kms down the wrong road!

I soon back-tracked and picked up the route again near Hatzenbach. The route continued to follow the circuit until I got to Breidscheid where it tracked about 500 metres away from the climb up Kesselchen. At this point I plugged the MP3 player in and worked my way up the hill. It is quite a long drag on a bike! At Steilstreche the trail climbs parallel to the 30% hill, I cleared the hill and stopped at the top for a drink and to re-insert my lungs into my chest cavity. The weather was perfect, slightly overcast with a few spots of rain.

Eventually, I arrived back at Brunnchen after a fantastic ride by which time it was nearly track time again. A quick re-group at the hotel and we made our way to the track.

By the time we got to the track, the clouds had nearly gone opening up wonderful blue skies, and it was hot!

http://www.homepages.mcb.net/davet/ring_report_2008/clouds.jpg


The laps that followed were not very nice. The car refused point-blank to go around the corners on the second half of the lap, four wheel drifting towards some very expensive Armco. After a couple of laps I borrowed Simons tyre gauge and my hot pressures were getting on for 40PSI, they were 30 cold earlier. I dropped the pressures to 27 and set off for another lap. This time the car performed well and traffic was light. Also running was the bullet cam borrowed from JohnnyG back on the rock. The resulting video footage was quite interesting

As time was now getting on and the session over, we headed back to the hotel to clean up and go for food. The choice today was the Blaue Ecke in Adenau. The plan was to take a couple of taxis down so some of the guys could have a beer. Mike Boyd took his car as he wasn’t intending to stay
out all night, like some of the others, which we’ll get to shortly.


With the normal route to Adenau being closed for repairs, the taxi drivers took the slightly longer route down a steep, twisty road with the occasional hairpin bend thown in for good measure. I suspect the drivers are either very accomplished VLN racers or just plain crazy, we were travelling at a fair old pace down the hill, three of us on the back row of seats in the minibus with me were clamped onto the seats in front waiting for the inevitable slide, crash, sky. ground, sky, ground moment.

As it happened, we arrive in one piece for dinner. We took an outside table and ordered some food.

Chris:
http://www.homepages.mcb.net/davet/ring_report_2008/bl.jpg


Hammy was threatened that if he didn’t chew his food, a naked oil covered Heimlich manoeuvre would be performed! After dinner I decided to jump in with Herr Boyd for a lift to the hotel as I needed sleep owing to the 0230 hospital trip that morning.

Back at the hotel, my head hit the pillow and I slept like a chloroformed baby.

Dave T
09-07-2008, 11:03 PM
Saturday 28th June
The dawn chorus and lappage

0602, “Toby” five second pause “Toby” five second pause “Toby” this went on for a few minutes. It was Alfie, I was about to get up and let him in, knowing he had been involved in a serious session, but when I opened my window, with the intention of taking the piss, he wasn’t there. Someone else beat me to it!

I snoozed until 0700, got up and went straight out to the car. The weather was great, clear blue skies and hot. It was 0710 and the temperature was already 22C.

http://www.homepages.mcb.net/davet/ring_report_2008/morn.jpg

My plan for the day was to sort the handling on the car. The first step was to alter the suspension. I unwound 40mm off the front struts and 30 off the rear. As the car was already setup lower than standard, these new settings made it quite low but I thought I’d see how it went around the track.

By now it was getting on for 0800 so I knocked some of the other guys up, Hobby and Toby both looked reasonably human but Sean looked like he was wearing someone else’s face. Peering into his room, sick Dave was lying in bed, in an ass up position, if only I had my camera.

Back down stairs and breakfast consumed I returned to my room to collect my cameras meeting Hobby and Chris in the corridor. They were talking with Toby, who was sharing a room with Alfie “The Beast of Adenau”. I looked into the room and saw alfie lying on top of the bed covers, I quickly grabbed my camera and took a photo!

http://www.homepages.mcb.net/davet/ring_report_2008/alf.jpg

A little while later Hobby had place rolled up Soreen in the bed with Alfie, this was to cause much discussion later.

By now it was 0900 and the track was already open for business but the plan was to find Adenau Forst and watch for a while. Sean was concerned about his tyre pressures from the previous day, a rear tyre was showing 17PSI hot, closer examination found a nail in the tread. We set off to the tyre place in Adenau via the car wash.

It was going to take 40 minutes for Seans tyre to be repaired, we called Hobby and provided directions to get to the school and set off with Mike to AF. We parked in the school carpark and set off up the 3k climb to the corner where many people forget to turn left!

Along the way we left a few marks so the other guys could find us:

http://www.homepages.mcb.net/davet/ring_report_2008/sign2.jpg

Adenau Forst is one of those corners where you are guaranteed to see someone make a mess of things, embarrass themselves but not get injured. This was a point proven within two minutes of arriving when the first car failed to turn left.

http://www.homepages.mcb.net/davet/ring_report_2008/fail.jpg

After a short time, and a couple of hundred photos, the rest of the gang arrived, panting hard after the long slog up the hill, but still smiling which is always good to see. We watched for a while and took a walk back along the track with Mike to see where else we could get to. We managed to get to the dip at Fuchsrohre but couldn’t see anything. I climbed the safety fence and shot some pictures down the track

http://www.homepages.mcb.net/davet/ring_report_2008/affence.jpg

We walked back to AF chatting idly when we heard the sound of grinding plastic to our right. A biker had slid off on the right hand approach to AF. Luckily he didn’t appear hurt but even if he was, we couldn’t assist due to the high fences that have been erected around the track. A marshal was soon on scene and the traffic was controlled.

Back at AF it was time to go, the urge to get to the track was overwhelming, either that or it was lunchtime. Mike and I headed off for a good healthy serving of Curryworst and chips at the Dottinger petrol station. We left a few trail markers for the others to follow:

http://www.homepages.mcb.net/davet/ring_report_2008/sign3.jpg

After “Lunch” We set off and headed straight for the barriers. The resulting laps were good, turn in was sharp and predictable and the sliding from the previous day was almost eliminated. The bullet cam was also performing well, I filmed three laps without interruption.

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Back at the car park, it was very busy with traffic queuing to get off the track. I headed for the overflow carpark intending to setup the camera on Seans car for a lap. Sean was out lapping with a guy called Frank in a Porsche 968-911 turbo thing (never know which is which) When he returned he had seen a BMW spammed into the barriers at Kleiner Karussell, there were reports of other cars crashed as well. The track was closed for about an hour while they cleaned up the mess. The BMW was recovered to the carpark and a large crowd gathered to take pictures of it:

http://www.homepages.mcb.net/davet/ring_report_2008/crowd.jpg

Back out for more laps and the pace was picking up although the drag up Kesselchen was straining the car a little. I decided to cruise up at 75 to 80mph, keeping the car cool for the twisties from the Karussell.

From the kick-off, I had decided to treat the Nordschleife as a fast road rather than a race track. I knew that if I had an accident, the inconvenience would be major and the expense biblical. Driving the Nordschleife as a fast road meant driving at 75%, driving it like a race track would mean driving at 100% and that would probably end in a broken car, broken barriers and a broken wallet.

However, I did push it after Hohe-Acht eating curb through Wipperman, using the rumble strips at Brunchen and the approach to Schwalbenschwanz (which make a tremendous noise) and leaping off the inside curb at Pflanzgarten 2.

By now it was late afternoon and the track was about to close for the day to the public. We, on the other hand, had booked a track walk with RSR Nurburg. We met at the pre-arranged time of 1915hrs at the ring office and loaded onto mini busses for the tour. Stopping off at the Hatzenbach complex with our guide Dale we disembarked and gathered around Ron Simmons who talked us through the complex. I was amazed at the camber of the track. On the PS2 you don’t see the changes in elevation or the camber, in the car you don’t see the cambers but on foot you see the cambers, the height of the curbs, the elevation, the different tarmac, the run off, everything!
The track walk finished at about 2100hrs. We walked away with a catalogue of new lines to try the following day and a collection of photos:

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Dinner that evening was to be the Blaue Ecke again. We took the cars to Adenau, ordered the food and sat talking for a couple of hours.

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Healthy food

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We returned to the hotel where some of the guys sat drinking whilst the others retired to bed. It also became quickly apparent that Frank wasn't very happy. The soreen that had been left with Alfie earlier that day had been left behind when Alfie emerged later in the day. The soreen had been found by the hotel house keeper and she wasn't very happy.

Dave T
09-07-2008, 11:04 PM
Sunday 29th June
Soreen, closures and the secret route to AF


Sunday dawned early with the usual continental breakfast and the other guys sitting around talking about the day ahead. The plan today was to drive to AF via the little known secret route (Cheers Dale), park up and watch for a while. After breakfast Hobby had to explain to Frank what had happened in Alfies room.

The other guys were laughing about the incident from the previous morning. I don’t think they appreciated the seriousness of the situation as no one had told Frank that it was infact soreen. Frank was under the impression that the brown objects were the real deal. Hobby explained to Frank what had happened and showed him some Soreen. Frank saw the funny side of things and all was well with the world again, or so we thought.

Outside in the carpark, someone had taken a giant dump on Hobbys bonnet and rubbed it over his drivers door handle. I suspect this was a revenge attack for the mess in Alfies room.

The drive to the lane down the road from Adenau was interesting, Alfie was map reading and navigating. When most people read a map, the hold the map in front of them and are able to follow the road and direction of corners. It has been proven by various publications that when (some) women read maps they turn the map around, orientating the map with the direction of the road, this is what Alfie was doing. Even though I took the piss out of his map turning, he navigated us to the correct lane. We parked up right along side AF

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AF was most entertaining. A number of cars failed to turn left, resulting in cheers from the crowds. A GT3 approached the corner and failed to turn left spinning and mounting the curb backwards. The noises from the underside hitting the curb sounded expensive.

The following is a picture of the GT3 mid spin, it would be bad form to post up 18 pictures of him spinning.

http://www.homepages.mcb.net/davet/ring_report_2008/pork.jpg

Whilst we were watching Hobby received a call.

The call was from Simon in his race prepared V6 Clio, he had apparently run off the track on a corner and damaged the car. I had visions of the evo crash last year and really didn’t want to see Simon in this position. Details about what had happened were sketchy.

As the track was now closed again for an accident somewhere, we decided to head back to the track for some more lappage, I was keen to try some of the lines learned from the previous evenings track walk.

Upon arrival at the carpark, it was apparent that this was going to be a very busy afternoon

I had to clean my underwear after seeing this in the carpark:.

http://www.homepages.mcb.net/davet/ring_report_2008/matblack.jpg

Matt black does it for me everytime:)

We met with Simon who explained that the clutch fluid had boiled resulting in loss of drive and an off-track excursion. Damage to the car was minimal with scratching under the sills.

During the afternoon, between closures, we mounted the camera on Seans car and then followed Chris around the track.

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We then went straight back out and filmed a couple of good back-to-back laps, Sean was driving well but there was a lot of traffic about, some of which didn’t have a clue which way the track went. We quickly dispatched a GT3 into Wehrseifen. Along the track we could see the remains of the previous accidents, some people were going to have a very expensive day.

I jumped in with Mike for a lap. Mike had improved considerably over the last few days and could now string a fast, clean lap together, which proves that you can indeed teach an old dog new tricks. (Sorry Mike!)

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Following these laps I installed the camera in Bobbys car for what turned out to be an interesting lap. There was a bike down at Breidscheid and a car in the gravel at Brunnchen. Just as we turned into Galgencopf, a lotus decided to pass cutting up Bobby in the process, sending him up the curb. I reported the driver to the office for dangerous driving.

Back at the car park Chris was explaining that he had been following a pug 205 that had been spraying oil all over the front of his car, the 205 in question was parked near by. Moments later, a marshal appeared with a note and a radio. He studied the 205 and started talking into his radio. It appeared he was looking for a car that had dropped oil on the track and caused the bike crash at Breidscheid. The 205 was looking favourite but after having spoken with the driver, he and Chris had arrived on the Breidscheid scene after the bike had crashed which proved that the 205 didn’t cause the accident.

Once the track reopened I took Mike for a lap with the GPS installed to plot the circuit and speed, the plot worked well and shows the outline of the track and speeds at any given location.

The weather by this time was hot and sunny. The Grune Holle had run out of ice creams so I bought more water and a bottle of coke. During the day I comsumed about 10 litres of water, driving the car was hot work. Oh how I missed the BMW with it’s aircon, power steering, long legs etc.

We parked up in the overflow carpark waiting for the track to re-open.

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Next for a lap was Toby with Sean following

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and then Bobby for a lap in my car with the camera facing backwards.

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Behind us was Chris and Sean. We adopted a moderate pace until we got to Hohe Acht, where, on my favourite section, we opened the taps and had an enjoyable dice with Chris cutting the curbs at Wipperman and leaping off Pflanzgarten 2. Hobby and the rest of the guys were at Pflanzgarten 1 and took a nice action shot of Chris following me through the corner.

http://www.homepages.mcb.net/davet/ring_report_2008/pfl.jpg

We then lapped again with the rear facing camera still in position, this time with Dave on board. On the approach to the right hander before T13 I dialled into the corner lining up an overtake on another car, Sean was close behind. At the apex my car decided it would be a good idea to head for the F1 track. We ran very wide off the track, so wide in fact that Sean safely passed us on the right. I can only suspect we had picked up oil. On the next corner, T13, a marshal was flagging a crashed car, we slowed to a crawl and passed the scene, accelerating down towards Hatzenbach the car pushed the front again. At this point I decided enough was enough and cruised down the road, my heart beating so hard I thought it was coming out of my chest.

A little further down the road I asked Dave if he had brought his cigarettes, he offered me one which I smoked whilst cruising along, tight to the right hand side of the track, at a steady 50mph. Further along the track there were three cars parked up, one on the left and two one the right. Two of the cars looked damaged. I strongly suspected oil was the cause of the crashes.

We proceeded at a slow pace and well off the line all the way through to Wipperman where I applied a little more power. The car felt good at this point but we still took it steady until the end of the lap. Back at the carpark we re-grouped and swapped stories.

The plan for the final forty minutes was to setup Mike with the bullet cam and for me to follow. We were pretty much ready to go when the office made an announcement that the Nordshleife would be closed for the rest of the day.

In a way I has pleased with this as the previous lap had been quite scary with the off track moment and the amount of cars off. I was more than happy to quit while I was ahead. At this point we packed up and left for the hotel to get cleaned up ready for dinner.

Some photos from the day:

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Dinner that evening was the Blaue Ecke again, they do a great steak and the atmosphere is nice. There was also some football thing going on.

After dinner we had a mission, Hammy had an excess of stickers and our plan was to place these on the barriers on the track. The location was chosen as Brunnchen. We gained access to the track at about 0100hrs and set about applying the stickers. The track is quite spooky at night, during the day with temperatures in the high twenties the Armco barriers expand, when the temperatures drop, the barriers contract resulting in a loud metallic clang. We applied the stickers with haste owing to the noises and the glowing flies buzzing around.

http://www.homepages.mcb.net/davet/ring_report_2008/stickers1.jpg

http://www.homepages.mcb.net/davet/ring_report_2008/tr.jpg


Returning to the hotel at about 0130hrs, we headed for bed.

Dave T
09-07-2008, 11:05 PM
Monday 30th June
The long journey home

0800 and it was time to get up and close the chapter on another fabulous ring trip. Breakfast was consumed and the cars packed up. We gathered outside for a group shot by the cars and then gathered around the hotel steps for a photo with Frank holding a portion of soreen!

http://www.homepages.mcb.net/davet/ring_report_2008/group1.jpg

http://www.homepages.mcb.net/davet/ring_report_2008/group2.jpg

When everyone was ready we set of for the filling station for fuel and ring goodies. I brimmed the tank with the intention of making the homeward journey on a single tank as a test.

Passing Brunnchen, we stopped to check out the stickers with the help of my long lens:

http://www.homepages.mcb.net/davet/ring_report_2008/stick2.jpg

and a final shot of the cars at the ring:

http://www.homepages.mcb.net/davet/ring_report_2008/last.jpg

The drive to Zeebrugge was not without incident. Almost immediately we took a wrong turn which took us via a rather scenic route. We arrived at Zeebrugge in good time having used just under half a tank of fuel, checked in and boarded the boat to enjoy a nice dinner and a relatively early night in the rather confined cabin.

http://www.homepages.mcb.net/davet/ring_report_2008/pol.jpg


Tuesday 1st July
The final leg


The boat docked and we were unloaded by 0815. Hobby was pulled by customs and searched, possibly with a rubber glove, whilst the rest of us waited. The UK guys, Simon and Dave, left for home and we set off up the motorway heading for Heysham and the ferry home. I decided to put a couple of extra gallons of fuel in the tank. We arrived at Heysham at about 1230, the weather was warm with clear skies.

http://www.homepages.mcb.net/davet/ring_report_2008/hey1.jpg

Hobby:

http://www.homepages.mcb.net/davet/ring_report_2008/hey3.jpg

and checking the wear on the cars

http://www.homepages.mcb.net/davet/ring_report_2008/hey4.jpg

http://www.homepages.mcb.net/davet/ring_report_2008/hey2.jpg



We stood around chatting until it was time to load up and set sail for the rock and took a final time picture :)

http://www.homepages.mcb.net/davet/ring_report_2008/final-watch.jpg


Halfway across the Irish sea the weather closed in, the temperature dropped about 10 degrees and the rain started. We were nearly home, back home to the Rock.


Tuesday 1st July part 2
Misery

The weather on the Island was poor. It was cold, misty and wet. A shock to the system after having spent the past few days in one of the most beautiful parts of the world. What more could one ask from the trip? We had great weather, fantastic company, staggering views over the Efiel, the most demanding ribbon of tarmac in the world (apart from Druidale, but that's another story) and a list of stories and memories that will last until at least this time next year. Misery? That’s what we will be leaving behind next summer when we punch Nurburg into Tom Tom and set off on the fantastic journey once more.




Cheers guys for making it such a memorable trip and thanks to the Northloopers for all the info over the last year or so :thumb:

Jim Cameron
10-07-2008, 03:30 AM
Great stuff, good effort :thumb:

Adamt
10-07-2008, 09:50 AM
Cheers for that report. Excellent reading

I remember seeing the matt black GT3 Rs and some english lads taking pics of it, so I guess that was you! :thumb:

BCA
10-07-2008, 12:36 PM
Enjoyed that. :thumb: Im guessing the berghotel was open then?? Glad Frank sorted you - I think this is a fair reflection of everyone who lives/works in the area, truly kind people.

Dave T
10-07-2008, 01:43 PM
Yes, the hotel was open and Frank is a legend. If he hadn't helped us at the hospital we would have been in deep poo.

Think I'm getting withdrawal symptoms. Need-more-ring.

Nige
10-07-2008, 02:24 PM
Great effort :thumb:

These things take a long time to type up, I enjoyed reading that :D

40mm drop is massive ! must have been pretty stock before? suprised you got so much sliding with the 888`s, all I can guess is the tyre temps were far too high. I aim for 26 > 28psi HOT.

Not suprised he went off at AF if he had sheets of paper stuck to his windscreen :whistle:
http://www.homepages.mcb.net/davet/ring_report_2008/fail.jpg

I`m guessing that tyre shot is the front nearside? Its the exact same wear I get, which is why I rotate them axle > axle..

Dave T
10-07-2008, 03:42 PM
Nige, The 888's were on the Mk1 that was with us. I was running Goodyear Excellence something-or-other, normally I would run the Goodyear F1 but my suppliers were having trouble getting hold of them.

The suspension when fitted was dropped a little from standard, I decided to lower it as much as I could without taking taking the wheels off (jack up stick hands in arch) I measured against the other golfs and by my calculations it was about 40 front and 30 rear. Oddly enough, 30mm on the coilovers didn't equal 30mm car height. The problem I had was getting onto the ferry to get home, speed bumps, and road kill. I've lifted again now for the manx roads. One thing I did notice with it being low was on some corners and Karussell, the lower edges of the wings would catch the ground even though the car is sprung quite hard and very well damped.

Yes, the tyre is the nearside :)

Dave

Nige
10-07-2008, 03:48 PM
oh, forgot to add. Good to see someone else taking a `watch shot` ;)

Michaela
10-07-2008, 04:26 PM
Nice report...
And I´m really happy that you enjoy the evenings at the Blaue Ecke...

"Can we get the chips in a big bowl" :whistle:

Dave T
10-07-2008, 04:40 PM
Originally posted by Michaela@Jul 10 2008, 04:26 PM
Nice report...
And I´m really happy that you enjoy the evenings at the Blaue Ecke...

"Can we get the chips in a big bowl" :whistle:
I do believe we met :D I suppose I could have introduced myself - Hi, I'm dtiom from teh interwebnet.


Expect us back again collecting all the tables to make one big one and asking for a bowl of chips, each!

It was a great place to eat and very friendly.

Dave

Michaela
10-07-2008, 04:56 PM
Originally posted by dtiom+Jul 10 2008, 04:40 PM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (dtiom @ Jul 10 2008, 04:40 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin-Michaela@Jul 10 2008, 04:26 PM
Nice report...
And I´m really happy that you enjoy the evenings at the Blaue Ecke...

"Can we get the chips in a big bowl" :whistle:
I do believe we met :D I suppose I could have introduced myself - Hi, I&#39;m dtiom from teh interwebnet.


Expect us back again collecting all the tables to make one big one and asking for a bowl of chips, each&#33;

It was a great place to eat and very friendly.

Dave [/b][/quote]
Uuuups than I need to order more bowls :blink:

I hope to welcome you back soon, I reserve all the tables you need :rolleyes:

Gary Kinghorn
10-07-2008, 05:30 PM
That was a rather large report :thumb:

Good effort sir, thanks for sharing :thumb:

Dave T
10-07-2008, 11:08 PM
Some more random pictures from the weekend:
http://www.homepages.mcb.net/davet/ring08/other_pics/100_0761.jpg

http://www.homepages.mcb.net/davet/ring08/other_pics/100_0775.jpg

http://www.homepages.mcb.net/davet/ring08/other_pics/100_0792.jpg

http://www.homepages.mcb.net/davet/ring08/other_pics/100_0796.jpg

http://www.homepages.mcb.net/davet/ring08/other_pics/Image1.jpg

http://www.homepages.mcb.net/davet/ring08/other_pics/Image3.jpg

http://www.homepages.mcb.net/davet/ring08/other_pics/Image4.jpg

http://www.homepages.mcb.net/davet/ring08/other_pics/Nordschiefe%202008%2006%20068.jpg

http://www.homepages.mcb.net/davet/ring08/other_pics/Pict4204.jpg

http://www.homepages.mcb.net/davet/ring08/other_pics/Pict4256.jpg

http://www.homepages.mcb.net/davet/ring08/other_pics/Pict4280.jpg

http://www.homepages.mcb.net/davet/ring08/other_pics/Pict4668.jpg

http://www.homepages.mcb.net/davet/ring08/other_pics/orangemetro.jpg

Need to contact the guy that took this one with the aim to buy it:
http://www.homepages.mcb.net/davet/ring08/other_pics/IMG_7886.jpg